Monday, September 20, 2010

Michigan's Largest Windfarm to Open Near Breckenridge in 2011

Now THAT's what I'm talking about. 200MW of wind-power goodness, bringing some construction jobs to start, bucks to local farmers from land leases, and much needed tax revenue to schools...

Gratiot County will grow a new crop of 125 giant wind turbines sprouting on 30,000 acres of farmland, creating the largest wind farm in Michigan.

The more than $440 million project will generate 200 megawatts of electricity when finished next year, enough to power nearly 54,000 homes, and bring rural communities and school districts with little industrial tax base and farmers much needed cash, backers say.

Work starts Nov. 1st. Chicago based Invenergy Wind will hire 150 for construction and 15 permanent maintenance workers, and DTE will sign a 20-year lease ($1.1 billion) to buy the power, and it will constitute 4% of DTE's total power when completed. And just look what it does for the local schools...

Taxes for Gratiot County government, townships and school districts and payments to farm families could amount to $100 million over the next two decades, he said.

Breckenridge Community Schools could capture $800,000 in the first year alone, he said.

“All of a sudden, this takes our school system from a struggling school system to one that’s doing quite well,” Ostrander said.

Business and government leaders collaborated to remove obstacles to getting the farm off the ground, he added.

More please. More of this, please, all over the state. DTE has acquired the rights to 80,000 acres in the Thumb area, with plans for more farms by 2015. Now we need to get cranking on the west side and UP as well...